Thursday, February 19, 2009


So I had this assignment in my cinematography class to take pictures of "interesting" lighting. We were supposed to shoot on 35mm slide film.

If you don't know what that is, it is what our grandparents would sometimes project. You load the film just like any other 35mm film. But instead of it becoming a negative... it is opposite. Positive? I guess. Anyway, when you get it processed it is put into these slides. I was kind of sad because this is much more expensive to do than your normal film. However, it helped me remember the magic in film.

With digital cameras you see exactly what you got. With a 35mm camera you guess what exposure would make for the best shot. You can preview the depth of field and stuff, but you really don't know what you got until you make prints. Well, with slide film, you don't make prints (you can if you want... it just costs more $$$). So, you can scan the slides in digitally (which I did), but even this makes you doubt if it is the real image. You don't really know until it is projected directly off the slide. I still haven't seen my slides projected, but I am excited to see them after being able to preview them digitally.

The picture above it my favorite. I was walking down the stairs from the parking lot of the Bean Museum towards campus when I noticed how the sunlight was hitting this bench. None of my photos were staged, no special lighting used. I just really like this picture. I wish there was a dark red rose or something on the bench in that spot.

The other thing I was re-awakened to was the texture of film. I love it! I like the graininess of it. It feels more earthy and alive to me. Don't get me wrong... I'm not a digi-hater. There is definitely something to be said about digital. For one, it is so much cheaper!

But with film you come across more "happy accidents" I think. For example, you may notice something strange about the picture above. "EXIT" is kind of messed up. Well, it wasn't really like that, but I accidentally loaded the slide wrong when I scanned it and I really liked it so I didn't bother changing it. The "T" is the only letter that looks wrong when flipped over.

The assignment helped me appreciate my 35mm SLR camera more though. I haven't used it a whole lot, and I really should. I always wished I had a digital SLR and would have happily traded away my camera. Not anymore!

My camera :)


Lindy said...

I seriously love these pictures, they're so cool. It makes me want to take cool pictures too. Too bad I don't have a better camera...

Melese said...

I'm so jealous. I've been studying about slide film lately and have been dying to try it. Way to go Jonathan, props on that bench. The lighting is freaking awesome.